PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — Spaniard Carlos Checa has started the ‘Panigale’ era of Ducati in World Superbike by winning the Tissot-Superpole at Phillip Island Saturday.
It is the opening round of the eni Superbike FIM World Championship.
The Ducati Team Alstare rider managed to take the best out of the new Borgo Panigale superbike by setting an incredible 1:30.234 lap to secure the 10th pole of his career.
Checa saved a Superpole tire for the final minutes of a hard-fought Superpole 3 session, with all nine riders desperate to find a way into the front rows for Sunday’s World Superbike races.
The choice made by the former champion and the team led by Francis Batta proved to be successful, as Checa got the nod from an extremely competitive Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) by just 0.195 seconds.
After being the fastest rider in qualifying, Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) gave his fans another pleasant surprise by ending up in third place.
The second row of the grid will be headed by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), whose lap time was exactly matched by fifth-place Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team).
Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) will aim to be part of the battle for the rostrum position moving off from the sixth and seventh grid slot.